Eagles win big on Homecoming night

Richard Winn crowned Queen Lila Smith, at left, and King Drew Spires during Homecoming festivities last Friday. Brinson Baker, center, and Lacey Peake were crowned Football Sweethearts. | Photo: Laura Bonds

WINNSBORO – Friday, October 13 was Homecoming for Richard Winn Academy as the Eagles hosted the Oakbrook Preparatory School Knights at Ruff Field.

Homecoming King Drew Spires | Photo: Martha Ladd

Eagles Head Coach Paul Brigman acknowledged the enthusiasm for the game.

“The team was excited to get back home and celebrate homecoming,” Brigman said. “We have been working hard in practice to become more physical, and it seemed to pay off this week.”

The Eagles were physical from the opening whistle, recovering an onside kickoff by Josh Tyndall at midfield. Quarterback Charlie Bonds found Drew Spires wide open for a 50 yard touchdown on the second play of the drive. The Eagles failed to convert the two-point play.

Tyndall’s kickoff was returned by Jay Turner to the Richard Winn 42 yard line. Oakbrook Prep’s quarterback, Jonathan Grant, ran 21 yards on a quarterback keeper to the Richard Winn 21 yard line. Grant fumbled the snap on the next play and was sacked for a 14-yard loss. The Knights failed to reach the first down marker and turned the ball over to the Eagles.

Richard Winn took over possession at their own 18 yard line, and Bonds commanded an 11-play, 82 yard drive to the endzone. Bonds completed a screen pass to running back Eli Smith who ran 42 yards for the score. Smith took the handoff across the goal line to complete the two-point conversion.

Landon Smith recovered Tyndall’s onside kick for the Eagles, giving Richard Winn possession at the Knights’ 49 yard line. Bonds connected with Spires on a 49-yard touchdown strike. Spires converted for two points, putting the Eagles ahead 22-0 with 2:14 remaining in the first quarter.

The Knights went three and out on their next drive, punting the ball away on fourth down. Spires returned the punt to the Richard Winn 25 yard line. The Eagles moved the ball down the field on a combination of passes and runs, culminating in a touchdown after Spires hauled in Bonds’ 15 yard pass. Tyndall’s point-after kick sailed through the uprights and extended the Eagle lead to 29.

The Knights reached the Eagles’ 35 yard line on the next possession before being stopped on four straight downs.

Charlie Bonds (4) had 316 yards through the air and 144 on the ground. | Laura Bonds

Bonds relied on Smith and Spires to move the ball across midfield. Smith ran through three tackles on a 22-yard reception, and Bonds completed a 40 yard pass to Spires for a touchdown. The point-after kick was good, giving Richard Winn a 36-0 advantage.

The Knights scored after Grant turned a busted play into a 44 yard touchdown run. Grant converted for two points, and the score going into halftime was Richard Winn 36, Oakbrook Prep 8.

Richard Winn received the kickoff to open the third quarter, and a pair of runs by Bonds put the Eagles up 43-8 following Tyndall’s point-after kick.

The Knights moved the ball to the Richard Winn 25 yard line before the Eagle defense held strong, forcing a turnover on downs after four straight incomplete passes by Grant.

Richard Winn kept the ball on the ground on the next possession. Carries by Bonds, Smith, and Hoffman Sharpe moved the football downfield before Bonds scampered across the goal line for the Eagles’ seventh touchdown. Tyndall’s kick split the goal posts and the Eagles led 50-8.

The Knights’ final possession was stopped short after Grant threw an interception to Spires who was tackled at the Richard Winn 45 yard line. On fourth down and long, Bonds dodged defenders to pick up 28 yards and a first down. Bonds handed the ball to Landon Smith on two straight plays, first for six yards, and then again for a 38-yard dash to the endzone. Tyndall’s kick missed, but the Eagles recorded a huge victory for Homecoming, dominating the Knights 56-8.

Brigman praised the Eagles’ performance, saying, “We executed well as a team and were able to control the game. Charlie Bonds and Drew Spires have led us all year, and last night was no exception. They continue to get better each game.”

Bonds threw for 316 yards and five touchdowns on 15 completions, and Spires caught nine balls for 226 yards and four touchdowns. Bonds rushed for 144 yards on 14 carries, scoring two touchdowns. Landon Smith recorded one touchdown, running for 92 yards on 6 carries. The Eagle defense was led by Landon Smith and Josh Tyndall with 7.5 tackles each. JT Wilkes had 5.5 tackles with one sack.

Brigman looks forward to Friday night’s trip to Edgefield, where the Eagles will compete with Wardlaw Academy for the region title. Kickoff is slated for 7:30pm.

Each player was assigned a specific canned good, and votes for the Eagles Homecoming King were based off of the amount of points earned for donated canned goods. Over 4,000 cans were collected to be donated to a local food bank. | Photo: Martha Ladd

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